Great Economic Development News for Piqua

Rick James Dealership

The following article is reprinted from the Dayton Business Journal.  This long time vacant property which housed the Rick James Dealership is being converted to a Retail/Business Park.  We look forward to working with the Baker Family to help them fulfill their vision for this site.

Rick James Dealership Site
Senior Reporter- Dayton Business Journal

A business owner in Sidney purchased a Piqua former vehicle dealership and plans to convert it into an office and industrial center.

Thom Baker and sons Adam and Matthew formed ATM Investments LLC to purchase the former 55,000-square-foot Chevrolet dealership at 8654 N. County Road 25A in Piqua. Baker owns Wappoo Wood Products in Sidney.

Baker plans to convert the site into a 14,000-square-foot retail or office space and a 36,000-square-foot industrial facility, with hopes of attracting new employers to the area.

The project will create opportunities for area businesses to help construct the facilities, plus it will add more retail options for consumers as well as a new location for relocating companies.

“Piqua is fortunate to have local entrepreneurs that are willing to take the risk to purchase vacant facilities and turn them back into income producing properties,” said Tim Echemann, the broker with Industrial Property Brokers who represented the seller and will continue to market the property for lease. “We have a high level of interest in leasing the property now that a new owner is in place.”

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High School Internships in Piqua Prove Successful

ICMA

In 2012, the City of Piqua entered into an agreement with the Counties of Shelby, Miami, and Logan Education Service Centers to host high school students during the summer months as part of the Upper Miami Valley Local Government Management Internship Program.  The Internship Program lasts 6-8 weeks and is modeled after the Wittenburg University undergraduate internship program.

The program allows for high achieving high school juniors or seniors with a minimum GPA of 3.0 to intern with local governments to help them determine if a local government career path is something they wish to pursue.  At the completion of the internship, a stipend is paid which is held until the student enrolls in college of their choice.

Nathan Burkholder 2012  Nathan Burkholder, a graduate of Piqua High School, became our first intern in 2012.  Nathan initiated and implemented the first Piqua Play Day as part of our achieving the Playful City USA designation and has continued to voluntarily administer the event each year.  Nathan now attends Bowling Green University majoring in Public Administration and has worked part-time at the City of Piqua the last two summers.

Ryan Burch 2013  Ryan Burch interned as an upcoming senior at Piqua High School in 2013.  Ryan had a great interest in Civil Engineering and was assigned to the Engineering Department for the duration of his internship.  Ryan’s major project was to development a schematic for the Fort Piqua Plaza utilizing a computer-aided-design (CAD) system .  This summer he worked part-time in the Engineering Department and will be attending the University of Cincinnati in the fall as a Civil Engineering major.

In 2014, the City of Piqua hosted two interns.

Ryan Wolfe 2014  Ryan Wolfe, a rising senior at Piqua High School, had a great desire to pursue a Criminal Justice career and spent his internship with the Piqua Police Department.  Working closely with Police Chief Bruce Jamison, Ryan experienced the daily life of Police Officers along with administration duties.  Now a senior at Piqua High School, Ryan plans on majoring in Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati next year.

Austin Risner 2014  Austin Risner, a rising senior at Troy Christian High School, had a great interest in Finance and Economic Development and shared his time between the two departments.  Austin worked on a number of projects and demonstrated a great analytical ability.  Now a senior, he is evaluating colleges, including PENN, to determine where to continue his education.

The Upper Valley Local Government Management Internship Program has proven to be an excellent way to expose high school students to local government careers and bring in the best and brightest to the profession.  The quality of these students has been impressive and gives great hope for our future.

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Piqua Recreational Trail System

Bike Trail

We are very fortunate to have a great trail system in Piqua that not only provides for local multi-purpose use, but also connects us to much larger regional trail systems.  Many residents are not aware that the Piqua Recreation Trail System is part of the Buckeye Trail, North Country Trail, and Miami & Erie Canal Heritage Corridor systems.

Our local trail system is the northern terminus of the Great Miami Recreation Trail which connects Piqua to 330 miles of paved multi-use trails linking communities along the Great Miami River to Cincinnati.  This is the largest interconnected trail system in the nation.  Running east to west is the PATH (Piqua Activity Trail for Health) for approximately 5-miles utilizing abandoned railroad bed and bridges.  Maps of the trail are available at the Municipal Government Center and other locations throughout Piqua.

Ohio Great Corridor

Piqua is a member of the Ohio’s Great Corridor Association which promotes quality of life and riverfront investment along the Great Miami River.  The association’s vision is to make this area a destination for river visitors.

Buckeye Trail

The Buckeye Trail passes through Piqua along it’s 1444 mile route through every corner of Ohio.  It is marked with blue blazes and follows existing roads and wooded trails.  The Buckeye Trail coincides with the North Country Trail for a large part of it’s route.

NCT_7States

The North Country Trail is longest scenic trail in the United States stretching 4600 miles from New York to North Dakota and links 7 states, 10 national forests, and over 150 public lands.

Currently, planning is underway to extend the trail connections north towards Sidney, west to Covington, and east to Urbana.  This will surely make Piqua the “Trail Hub of Ohio” to go along with our belief that we have the “Best Trail System in Ohio”.

TrailSystemFinal

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Piqua Reverse Job Fair

Reverse Job Fair

The job market in the City of Piqua is booming.  Many of our local businesses are expanding and hiring and need employees.  The biggest current economic deficit in the city and throughout Miami County is a dependable workforce to fill the available positions.

It’s a known fact that more than 80% of job growth in a community comes from existing and small businesses.  Piqua businesses are doing their part in providing good paying jobs.

In order to help address this issue for both local businesses and job seekers, the City of Piqua is teaming with Miami County and the State of Ohio to conduct a Reverse Job Fair on August 26th at the Fort Piqua Plaza.

Here’s more information about the Reverse Job Fair:

Reverse Job Fair in Piqua, Ohio Are you tired of not getting results from the typical job fair? Spending all day in a busy room where it is difficult to stand out whether you are an employer or job seeker? Well the Reverse Job Fair is the solution for you! The Reverse Job Fair takes the typical job fair and “reverses” it. We put Job Ready, Job Seekers at a booth that allows them to show off their knowledge, skills, and abilities while employers get to walk around and speak to qualified candidates. We have a 100% satisfaction rate with both job seekers and employers with comments like “Great idea and concept” and “Why would employers ever go to a typical job fair again?”

On Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 from 10:00am – 2:00pm, the Ohio Dept. of Job and Family Services along with Grow Piqua Now, the Piqua Chamber of Commerce, and OhioMeansJobs – Miami County will be hosting the next Reverse Job Fair. This will be for job seekers and employers in the Skilled Labor, HR, IT, Accounting, Engineering, and Manufacturing fields at the Fort Piqua Plaza (http://www.thefortpiquaplaza.com/directions.html).

Employers – The Reverse Job Fair allows you to spend anywhere from 5 minutes to the entire Reverse Job Fair talking to qualified candidates to ensure a good fit and arrange future conversations. This coordinated event matches you with job seekers who have been pre-screened to the industry and skill level required. Job seekers are prepared to market themselves by attending mandatory workshops and by having real-world interaction with local business professionals, showing their dedication to finding a job. You can evaluate each job seeker and conduct on the spot interviews as rooms will be available.

Job Seekers – The Reverse Job Fair gives you the opportunity to meet face-to-face with local hiring employers. You will have a booth with space to showcase your knowledge, skills, and abilities so that you can really SELL yourself to each employer that walks by. We will prepare you to market yourself through mandatory resume, portfolio, and interviewing workshops as well as real-world interaction with local businesses prior to the event.

Please take advantage of this opportunity.

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Lincoln Funeral Train 2015

LincolnFuneralTrain-photo-doubled

Not being from Piqua, I recently learned that President Lincoln’s Funeral Train stopped in Piqua after midnight on April 30, 1865 as part of the trip from Washington, DC to Springfield, Illinois for his burial.  The train traveled over 1,634 miles beginning on April 21st and carried Lincoln’s son, Willie, along with over 300 mourners.

lincoln_funeral_car1

The stop in Piqua occurred at 12:20am and lasted approximately 30 minutes while the train crew was changed and a trackside memorial service was held at the site of the train depot.  That site is now the parking lot of the Piqua Police Department.  Amazingly, approximately 10,000 people were present when the train arrived.

Piqua Penn Depot2

To celebrate and honor the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln Funeral Train, a replica train has been built and tracing the train’s original route will occur in 2015.  As I understand, National Geographic has already visited Piqua and a full story of the route will be featured in National Geographic Magazine.

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For more information on this major event, you can search both the World Wide Web and Facebook for the Lincoln Funeral Train 2015.  Additional information will be shared about the event as we find out more details.

Lincoln Funernal Train Logo

 

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William Moore McCulloch, Father of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

William Moore McCulloch

July 2, 2014 is the 50th Anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The hero and force behind the adoption of the Civil Rights Act was William Moore McCulloch of Piqua, Ohio.  William McCulloch served as a member of the U. S. House of Representatives from 1947 until 1973.

Below is an editorial written by Speaker of the House John Boehner acknowledging the important role that William McCulloch played in the adoption of the Civil Rights Act.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On July 2, 1964, Congress completed what many consider to be the most fundamental and consequential legislation in our long history, the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

And as our nation comes together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the bill’s final passage, many will rightly recall the names of those who stood in the face of violence and injustice during the civil rights movement, so that every citizen – regardless of race, color, religion, or national origin – may truly pursue happiness without discrimination or segregation.

It was a movement whose time had come, and quietly at its forefront was a farm kid from Ohio, William McCulloch.

In the fanfare of history, it’s easy to overlook the small moments that make big things possible, but it was a deal struck by Congressman McCulloch in Piqua, Ohio, that – a year before the Civil Rights Act was signed into law – led to a bill that would prove capable of fulfilling the promise of justice and liberty for all.

Passage of the Civil Rights Act is rightly regarded as one of the House’s finest hours, and when the final vote neared, the chamber paused for a standing ovation – and it was for William McCulloch.

I’m particularly proud of the key role he played, and I’m deeply honored for the privilege to represent the same corner of Ohio that McCulloch called home.

His story reminds us that while there is no indispensable man, there is the common man who doesn’t use his status for personal gain – but to serve others. “In a democratic society like ours,” McCulloch once said, “the purpose of representative government is to soften tension – reduce strife – while enabling groups and individuals to more nearly obtain the kind of life they wish to live.”

While William McCulloch isn’t a household name, it doesn’t have to be. That’s because, for him, the biggest thing was the right thing.

So as we come together and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, I invite all Ohioans to join me in remembering one of our very own, William Moore McCulloch.

In honor and remembrance of this great Piqua citizen, the City of Piqua named the prominent area adjacent to the Fort Piqua Plaza as the William McCulloch Public Square.

3piqua_mccullochsquare.jpg

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First Rock Piqua Concert a Huge Success

Rock Piqua

The very first concert of the Rock Piqua! Riverfront Concert Series held on Saturday, June 14th at Lock 9 Park was a huge success according to organizers.  The event was organized by MainStreet Piqua and the Piqua Arts Council along with many community sponsors and volunteers.  Crowd estimates were between 1800-2000 enjoying the featured music of the Eric Jerardi Band.

Eric Jerardi Band 2

The next concert is scheduled for Saturday, June 28th starting at 7:00pm and will feature up and coming star Clark Manson.  The final concert of the series will take place on July 26th with Nashville Crush performing.

Rock Piqua Stage

We look forward to the Riverfront Concert Series expanding in 2015.

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